Original Research

Resourcing actions that influenced business model adaptation during the COVID-19 crisis

Jennifer Reddy, Anastacia Mamabolo
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 54, No 1 | a3597 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v54i1.3597 | © 2023 Jennifer Reddy, Anastacia Mamabolo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 August 2022 | Published: 30 August 2023

About the author(s)

Jennifer Reddy, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa
Anastacia Mamabolo, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa


Purpose: Entrepreneurs constantly face crises and resource scarcity threatening their firms’ survival. However, limited studies analyse how entrepreneurs influence business model adaptation to survive a crisis. The study uses the bricolage theory to explore how entrepreneurs’ resourcing actions influenced business model adaptation during the COVID-19 crisis in a resource-constrained environment.

Design/methodology/approach: This narrative qualitative study was conducted on 12 Indian entrepreneurs in the KwaZulu-Natal province and validated by additional interviews with three Black African entrepreneurs in Gauteng province, South Africa. The themes were developed using narrative thematic analysis.

Findings/results: The study reveals the resourcing actions influencing Indian entrepreneurs’ business model adaptation. These include sense-making of resource constraints, leveraging ‘self-reliant’ entrepreneurial bricolage behaviours and maximising ‘joint’ stakeholder resources. The study shows how some dimensions of effectuation influence the resourcing actions, suggesting that bricolage is not mutually exclusive from effectuation during business model adaptation because of the crisis.

Practical implications: The study offers entrepreneurs practical insights on resourcing actions for business model adaptation during a crisis. The findings will help entrepreneurship development groups establish suitable interventions for entrepreneurs, assisting in preparing and managing crises.

Originality/value: The study shows how the micro or individual and/or entrepreneur interacts with the macro business levels and stakeholders during business model adaptation. The study shows that entrepreneurs’ actions are significant antecedents to business model adaptation.


business model adaptation; bricolage; COVID-19 pandemic; crisis; emerging market; resourcing actions.

JEL Codes

M10: General; M13: New Firms • Startups; M31: Marketing

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth


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Crossref Citations

1. Who died, who survived? COVID-19 epidemic, industrial dynamics and urban economic resilience
Hantian Sheng, Canfei He, Xiaomian Dai, Yifan Zhang
Sustainable Cities and Society  vol: 107  first page: 105469  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1016/j.scs.2024.105469